Poland had almost no civic middle class, the base of modern societies. Before the Polish partitions Poland had 2 or 3 universities, Germany + Austria more than 40. The social divide was immense.
And yet I specifically referred to politics, but whilst you are on the topic of education you can also add that they had the first board or ministry of education in Europe which was secular and separate from the church. Besides most of the arguments you are brining up were only formulated post facto. Besides why would Poland choose to define itself by its enemy, whose duty it was to bring up as many untruths as possible to justify actions?
base of modern societies.
On on the topic of modern societies and identification with the national interest, it is a fact that the Polish nobility was one of the first to identify with the national interest. Most certainly far earlier than the German nobility who up util the 19th century practiced a feudal form of patronage dissociated from the interest of the state, and had a system of governance broken down into a multitude of little statelets, (an inheritance of the Holy Roman Empire) more akin to the middle ages. So it's just patently ridicules to say that somehow the German were way ahead in terms of forming a modern state.
quote=Des Essientes]In the case of Poland the Occidentals doing the Orientalizing were intellectuals in Prussia/Germany and Austria that wrote articles and books about how the Poles were a wild, relatively primitive people, that were incapable of governing themselves effectively because of these unfortunate Asiatic character traits.[/quote]
Where in a sentence can you find Poland and Orientalism being used in the same context written by a serious scholar?
in fact it is is arguable the the birth of the modern state in Germany-which is credited by many German scholars to the protestant ascendancy, is directly attributable to Poland, since it was only thanks to the patronage of the Polish king that Prussia was able to turn protestant.
just for your eduction concerning Prussia becoming protestant.